This could be be a big milestone for Magic Leap: The engineers of the Florida-based startup, with a whopping $4.5 billion in funding, are working on a prototype of their Augmented Reality glasses and will be presented to the board members in February. Could this be a reaction to the December article from The Information? Or was it already planned in Magic Leap's development? Either way, it seems like there is something going on in Fort Lauderdale in 2017... and the mankind is expecting a giant leap.
In a podcast with t3n editor-in-chief Luca Caracciolo in December I discussed Magic Leap's plans to deliver in 2017. The February presentation will be the startup's first chance to present what they internally call "PEQ" - Product Equivalent. That first prototype might use similar technology as the HoloLens. The light specific field technology Magic Leap is working on won't be on show this time as it seems that there are too many challenges in the product development.
The version they will probably present will be connected to two belt packs: one for the battery and the other for all the computing power. Why split them into 2 packs? Well, it's probably because they can get quite hot. If you look at the Google Glass, they tried to put everything in the same place and as soon as you started using the AR features it would overheat - hence the separation for Magic Leap. Considering Magic Leap's closest companions, you will notice that the HoloLens has all necessary units and sensors on board, whereas the Meta 2 has to be connected to a regular PC. Magic Leap's PEQ is somewhere between Microsoft's AR glasses and Meta's device: connected but transportable.
In 2017 we will see the first development kit from Magic Leap, a year later there could be a consumer version. According to former employees, the glasses could cost between $1.000 - $2.000. In a blog post Magic Leap's CEO said: "We are not about building cool prototypes. We are scaling up so we can manufacture hundreds of thousands of systems, and then millions". Let's see if all of us have the "Magic Leap" this year.